Dave Grusin & Don Grusin - One Night Only

"Thinking about coming back to Germany to play music with my brother Dave brought up great memories going all the way back to the ‘60’s when I hitchhiked all through Germany, played in ratskellers, went to East Berlin through Checkpoint Charlie…Then, as now, the musical knowledge and sophistication of  German audiences ranked extremely high. And we are happy to continue our long musical relationship with old friend Tom Glagow who we know back in the MCA 80’th.

Special Thanks to Tom, to Maria Uspenski, Lee Ritenour, Will Kennedy, Wolfgang Schmid, Nils Wülker, Till Brönner, Karsten Jahnke, Björn Gissa, Rebekka Zander, Don Murray, Beate Sampson, Ulrike Schwarz, Elisabeth Panzer, and our new friend Sedal Sardan @ A-Trane in Berlin. Enjoy!"

Don Grusin 


And from Dave…”Just adding my thanks to Tom Glagow & the rest of the gang… and of course to my little brother, Don, for allowing me to play along.“ 

Mit allen besten Wünschen, Dave Grusin



Don Grusin - The Hang

The-Hang-All-Stars Tour feat.:

Don Grusin - Keyboards
Dave Grusin - Piano
Lee Ritenour - Guitar
Nils Wülker - Trumpet
Wolfgang Schmid - Bass
Will Kennedy - Drums

Don Grusin – The Hang

Nominated for „Best Contemporary Jazz Album“ at the Grammies, The Hang has been a huge success in America and Grusin’s only live concert in the US to be recorded on DVD. The line-up of this project is impressive to say the least: Lee Ritenour has recorded more than 40 solo albums and more than 3000 albums as a guitarist. He played with Steely Dan, Frank Sinatra, Phil Collins, George Benson, Dizzy Gillespie, Pink Floyd and Roberta Flack. Don´s brother Dave Grusin is founder of legendary Jazz  label GRP and wrote the film music scores for The Fabulous Baker Boys, Havana, Tootsie, 3 Days of the Condor, The Firm and The Graduate. Needless to say, his film scores have won several Grammies and Oscars. The Hang merges funk, fusion, accoustic jazz and some world music into an exciting and energetic performance of unbelievable virtuosity.




Don Grusin - Old Friends and Relatives

Don Grusin Presents:

An Acoustic Piano Album dedicated to my old friends and relatives,
some alive and some gone...

Played, Produced, Arranged, Engineered by Don Grusin.
Mixed, Edited, Mastered by Don Grusin, Don Murray and Bob Vosgein
at CMS Digital, Pasadena California.
All songs recorded at Bad Dog Studio, Monte Nido, California

1. AT LAST 5:06                 
Written by Harry Warren (lyrics by Mack Gordon), EMI Feist Catalogue, inc.

Notes: When I was a kid I used to listen to Etta James sing this song, and was always thrilled by her expression, the heart in her delivery. The melody and the form, the way the chords amble through the song is the master mold from which so many songs were copied. It still gets me.  The song itself is a definition of an “Old Friend”.

2. A Walk With Leonard 4:51    
 Written by Don Grusin, Bad Dog Music

Notes: Leonard Feather was the music critic for the Los Angeles Times, and also a well-known composer for many artists of the 40’s and 50’s, including with and for Billie Holiday.  As he was to many musicians around the world, he was a friend of mine.  For about 7 years every spring we would stay in the same house for a week in Boulder while we attended the University Of Colorado Conference on World Affairs.  Daily we’d have breakfast and then walk to the campus together and discuss matters important to us both, usually not music so much, but life, art, sometimes politics.  Because he was such a believer in acoustic instruments, there was always some friction between us about my using synthesizers for which I became kinda known.  (Videotape exists showing Leonard actually PLAYING A SYNTHESIZER in concert during the conference.) I wish I had written this song and had played it for him while he was alive, because it sounds like him. I’d guess he probably enjoys it from his current space in the universe.

3. FIRE AND RAIN 5:40       
Written by James Taylor, EMI Blackwood Music, Inc. and Country Road Music

Notes: Growing up as a jazz player primarily, James Taylor was one of the few popular singer-songwriters that I accepted as one of “us” musicians.  I didn’t mean to have such a lofty view that jazz-related music was the true source of every other American style of music, but I was, along with my fellow players, fairly narrow minded. Can you believe it?! James, however, was OK with me, and his melodies, and chords, his honesty in the delivery, I always appreciated.  In the 70’s, in Aspen Colorado, and San Francisco I played his song “Fire and Rain” as if it were my own.  This is about the time when I was just starting to jazz-fusion-ize music I knew from other styles.  I probably played this classic 1000 times or more.  When I met James later on while we concertized in Tokyo, I was inspired to re-introduce myself and the listener to his song and now, finally, this version.
4. Flora 4:41                      
Written by Don Grusin, Bad Dog Music

Notes: Living in San Francisco in the 70’s I was finally able to hear musicians that our land-locked Colorado didn’t permit.  One of the highlights was seeing and later meeting and playing with Flora Purim and Airto Moreira.  Although this song is not really Brazilian in any way, I wanted to say or speak this piece to her, and so the title.  It means flower in Portuguese, Italian, and Spanish. I later on recorded with her, and wrote the title song with her daughter Diana, “This Magic”, on her Speak No Evil album.  
5. Foreign Service 5:06       
Written by Don Grusin, Bad Dog Music

Notes:  I was supposed to have been an economist, having trained at the University, and having taught that subject at a few colleges.  While I was in graduate school, I met many students that are now doing what I had hoped I was preparing for… a career with the UN, or the US State Department as an economist, developing countries.  For about a year I was close to it while in Mexico on a Fulbright teaching fellowship, but music was too strong a force.  So I am dedicating this song to my old friends, some in the military, in Africa, Asia, Latin America, North America, who gave and are giving their lives to creating greater well being to our near and distant relatives in the developing world.

6. Estate 5:15                 
Written by Bruno Martino and Bruno Brighetti, MCA Inc. & Santa Cecilia Casa, Ediciones Musica (Spain)

Notes: If there was one melody that defines Brasil, but that’s not from Brasil, it is Estate...meaning spring, in Italian.  I first heard it in Brasil played by Luis Essa, (a marvelous pianist who lived and died in Rio) then I recorded it in the US a long time ago with Joe Pass, Oscar Castro-Neves, John Pisano.  Because it has a melody that circles around and around and ends up where it started out, it has the shape of a classic story about life, or love, or “spring”, as it’s titled, put to music. Besides, all my musician friends know and love this song.

7. Circles 4:51                   
Written by Don Grusin,  Bad Dog Music

Notes:  Circles means “circle of 5ths”, a sort of exercise that musicians practice in order to perfect their ability in playing easily in different keys.  This piece is really an exercise, and it’s dedicated to musicians, with the spirit that even such practice can evoke some music that’s at least a little interesting.  The improvising is the meaning of the song with the simple melody giving room, benchmarks, for the circling chords showing up to do their job 2 or 3 times a bar.  You can use this format for your own practice.  Just start in C-minor.

8. Theme from High Noon (Do not forsake me) 5:18
 Written by Dimitri Tiomkin, with lyrics by Ned Washington, Leo Feist Inc.

Notes: When I was little, my father and mother would play records, old 78’s and later, LP’s on our record player.  This is before television, and most every family had a record player.  We had lots of classical records, (my father having been a classical violinist), and just a few jazz or popular records.  My mom seemed like she appreciated classical music, but her favorite stuff was what was called “popular” music, including songs like The Tennessee Waltz and this song, High Noon, which was the theme of the great Stanley Kramer western film.  The source of our greatest enjoyment was attending the “Vogue” movie theatre in my little town in Colorado on a Saturday afternoon or night, and I have been listening to this melody from that movie in my head for years and needed to put it somewhere.  The lyrics still make sense in 2010:
Do Not forsake me oh my darlin’
On this our wedding day
Do not forsake me oh my darlin’
Wait, wait along

(sort of like “git-long little doggies”, the cowboy anthem)

I do no know what fate awaits me
I only know I must be brave
And I must face a man who hates me
Or lie a coward, a craven coward
Or lie a coward in my grave

Oh, to be torn ‘twixt love and duty
‘Sposin I lose my fair-haired beauty
Look at that big hand move along, near
High Noon

He made a vow while in state’s prison,
Vowed it would be my life or his’n,
I’m not afraid of death but, oh
What will I do if you leave me?

Do not forsake me, oh my darlin’
You made a promise as a bride
Do not forsake me, oh my darlin’
Although you’re grievin’, don’t think of leavin’
Now that I need you by my side...
Wait along....

9. New Age Cowboy 4:28   
Written by Don Grusin, Bad Dog Music

Notes: I was raised in a cowboy town, with a railroad station, horses, and cattle; I knew everyone there, walked and rode bicycles everywhere, but I never was a real cowboy.  My brother Dave was (and is) but I wanted to be so cool and at the time, cowboys were not so cool.  I knew a lot of them, and my father had a jewelry store where cowboys would come in and buy rings, and get their watches repaired. And even though I worked on their farms and ranches, I knew I wasn’t really a cowboy. Once I wrote a song for a Kenji Omura record called “I Never was a Cowboy”, just so there’d be no confusion about my background. This New Age Cowboy song is just a little joke about how lots of present-day cowboys live and act.  You can fill in the blanks.

10. Serious Romance 3:32     
Written by Don Grusin, Bad Dog Music

Notes: Growing up never seems to stop.  When I was a kid, I thought when I grew up I’d probably never have thoughts about romance, you know the theme here… because I’d just grow out of it, be mature, wait for football season to come around every year, and pretty well keep those tricky notions buried and out of sight. So this is a little music about how serious romance can sometimes be, and how the engine for it mostly doesn’t go away.

11. Sadie  3:37                     
Written by Don Grusin, Bad Dog Music

Notes:  I wrote this song for my daughter when she was born.  I asked my brother Dave to play on my initial JVC record, and he did, but before he had actually seen Sadie for the first time.  When we finished I took him home to see her and he said...”oh man!  If I had known she was this beautiful, I would’ve added a few more curly-cues (trills, turns, filigreed notes) into the music!”  So I have reconstructed the song about my daughter to fit the times. It’s a new version, and so is she.

12. Well, it’s about you 4:26         
Written by Don Grusin, Bad Dog Music

Notes: I get questioned frequently about what this or that song is about.  I wrote this one especially for you.  Tell anybody.

13. Lost And Found 1:45
Written by Don Grusin, Don Grusin Music

Notes: All my life I’ve wondered about how to handle loss…loss of people, pencils, memory, names, so this is an invented melody that says ‘here I am’ and it takes a few unorthodox pathways, changing keys, fighting almost, to find its way back… and finally a progression that restates the theme and gives it an anchor, as if the melody was first lost, and then found.  So there is always a way to be Found, after being Lost, if only in the music.

14. The Re-Education of DG 4:20
Written by Don Grusin, Don Grusin Music

Notes: As we get older, we know and understand more. I think it’s a rule. And our patience grows, and our spirit to meet our challenges gets stronger. I think it is a natural phenomenon and I think the best way to describe this evolution in words is Re-Education. There you have it.

Special thanks to old friends and relatives, who taught me, acted as mentors, appreciated my own sense of things musical and worldly, and helped to cultivate my musical ground of being. Enjoy...

Don Grusin


Piano in Venice

Don Grusin moved to Venice, California to compose and record a piano album using 
the loops and samples that he collected over the past few years as his accompanying rhythm track partner. The electronic you hear are grooves from every musical genre, guitar licks, voices, dancers, people clapping and singing, birds, animals, traditional percussion instruments from everywhere in the world. One of his favorite samples is the Paolo Soleri bell which was the doorbell of his recording studio-livingroom in the little house that he rented on Crestmoore Place near the French Market. You'll hear the Soleri bell on san juan av.

His inspiration for melodies, moods, grooves came from throughout that beautiful ocean community... the beach, the carnival boardwalk atmosphere, the best air in LA, the hang with the people in local bars and restaurants and coffee shops, the neighborhood birds, dogs and cats, and in particular the contrasting personalities of the local streets for which he named the tracks. Relaxing with Melodies and groove, that is a promise with Don Grusin.